second thought, I'll take a close one...
- It may not have been their first win, or their first home victory, but
it was a first: the Cobrasí first blowout triumph.
Cobras will team with the Walter Payton Foundation next week to collect
toys for Alliance for Children, founded by the late Bears runningback.
The toys will be collected when fans enter the ESA and distributed to needy
local children at Christmas time.
the interest of keeping CZ readers the most informed fans in the league,
I'll pass on this tidbit from a press handout: "If anything were to ever
happen to kicker Remy Hamilton... the Cobras emergency kicker is backup
quarterback Carlos Garay."
of the Week: "Men in Black"? New Jersey has black uniforms, not Carolina.
I also wonder about "Pretty Fly for a White Guy" after an African American
player makes a big play.
Holt, former N.C. State and current St. Louis Rams wide receiver, and Congressman
Bob Etheridge were in attendance Friday.
And it wasnít
pretty. While the win was nice, I longed for Ė well, almost Ė games
like Carolinaís nail-biting victory over Houston or their loss to Orlando,
games undecided until the final play. Because what I saw from my
perch atop the ESA on Friday was one bad team pound on a worse one, to
the tune of a 77-47 thrashing of New Jersey.
as it may sound, the Cobras should have scored more points.
Two juicy opportunities in the first quarter resulted in only three points
for Carolina. Then, a Dexter Dawson touchdown reception was followed
by a missed extra point. The start of the second half saw drops,
overthrown passes and penalties kill drives.
the gaudy score was the fact that the Cobras didnít play all that well,
except for the Herculean effort of a first half shutout. Both Fred
McNair and Carlos Garay, who replaced him in the fourth quarter, held on
to the ball too long and missed open receivers. The secondary, which
played superbly in the first half, reverted to its season-long poor form
in the second, probably from a mix of overconfidence and the play of reserves.
The ground game did not get untracked, receivers dropped passes, and every
other kickoff seemed to bring a penalty.
The Red Dogs
werenít all there either. The Red Dogs were without offensive leader
Michael Lewis, who signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, and defensive specialist
Kevin Gaines, who was held out of the game with an abdominal strain.
And nearly every snap was low or high, contributing directly to giveaways.
I donít want
to take away from the Cobras win (well, maybe just a little). The
secondary did play great in the first half. Remy Hamiltonís kickoffs
were good, and so was the coverage, when there werenít penalties.
Bobbie Cotten played his heart out before being injured, Antwaun Wyatt
had probably his best game as a Cobra, Cornelius White and Dexter Dawson
continued workman-like seasons and the defensive line put consistent pressure
on Tommy Maddox and Rickey Foggie.
proved that an Arena Football blowout isnít quite as fun as we dreamed
it would be, at least not from a fanís perspective. For players with
incentive-laden contracts it may be a different story. And as ugly
as it may have been, in a season where the Cobras have played pretty and
lost so many times, they won. Last place is the domain of another
team. The Cobras are, finally, on the rise.